Top 5 food stops on the Grand Rounds: Victory Memorial and Theo Wirth Park
Minneapolis was voted the number one biking city in Bicycling magazine this year. In honor of being called the most bike-friendly city in the country, we've come up with a list of our favorite places to nosh while cycling the Grand Rounds bike path. The Grand Rounds encompasses 50.1 miles and has seven distinct sections, each with its own charms. In a short series of posts, we're suggesting a fall ride on these lovely trails to see the colors change as well as work up an appetite.
Victory Memorial and Theodore Wirth
First up are the Victory Memorial and Theo Wirth byway districts. The VM district starts at the west side of the Mississippi River on Webber Parkway, then follows its namesake road until it turns into the Theo Wirth Parkway. Next, the TW district twists through the Minneapolis Golf Course to the southern edge of Theo Wirth Park. Together, they cover just under eight miles of trail, flat and tree-lined on the north end and slightly hilly as you fly by the wildflowers and Quaking Bog. It's a great ride made better by stopping at just the right places to grab a bite. Here are our picks, in trail order from north to south.
2201 44th Ave N
Stop early at this cozy neighborhood coffee shop for a breakfast of lingonberry waffles and a cup of Alakef-roasted coffee. Owned by northside couple Jeff and Christina Jenkins, Steamworks is just a block and a half away from the bike path. Boasting a comfy patio and happy hour specials of dollar coffee and50-cent cookies, its the perfect pop-in spot near the trail.
2203 44th Ave N
Much has been written about how your chef is your server is your bartender at this gastropub, and all of it amounts to rave reviews, so we recommend you plan your ride around a stop at Victory 44. The menu changes daily at Chef Erick Harcey and his staff's whim, and strength-building proteins (read: pig) abound. Weekend brunch, Vikings specials and a Tuesday date night are all reasons to stop here pre-, post- or mid-pedal.
Papa's Restaurant and Deli
4159 Thomas Ave N
If you're one of those serious riders who need to restock your carbs, take the four blocks off the path at 42nd Ave N to Papa's. Home to East Coast favorites like the tomato pie for wise guys, a hoagie stuffed with tasty capicola and genoa salami, and a lauded Philly-style cheesesteak, this food will surely help get you around the Grand Rounds. It also might make some of us a little nostalgic. Tastykakes anyone?
Wirth Grill and Pub (inside the Golf Course Chalet)
1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy
While this snack bar does have food, it is merely average, so why is this on the list? Because it is one of the only food sources in TW Park, as well as a place to legally enjoy an adult beverage (if you are of age, of course). Most of the park areas don't allow anything stronger than 3.2 beer in cans, so the chalet's the place to enjoy a cold one and look out on all the frustrated golfers. Aren't you glad you are on a bike?
Picnic near Theo Wirth Beach
Glenwood Ave just west of Theo Wirth Pkwy
TW Park might be short on restaurants, but it makes up for it with many dreamy picnicking spots. Bring sandwiches or go by Surdyk's on the way and bring your grub to this eden in the park. Leaves are changing, Wirth Lake is rippling in the light breeze, and you are sitting on a freshly mowed lawn or picnic tables taking it all in. It's definitely worth (no pun intended) the ride, even though you have to procure your vittles elsewhere.
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